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A 100th birthday with family, music, guests and Gombeys

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Elmina Leona Marie Vickers pictured about ten years ago (Photograph supplied)

A matriarch who celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday said it was the best one yet.

Elmina Leona Marie Vickers, who has four living children and close to 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, said that tents had to be erected in her yard on Sound View Road, Sandys to accommodate them all.

Gombey Dancers, including her great-grandson, Diyaari Saltus, performed around her bed and saxophonist Maxwell Maybury played some of her favourite tunes to keep her entertained.

Maxwell Maybury played sax for Elmina Leona Marie Vickers on her 100th birthday (Photograph supplied)

Ms Vickers said: “They went all out for me. The Gombeys came — the little ones came and danced for me inside as I’m not able to get out of my bed … otherwise I’ve got it all together.

“Maxwell Maybury came to my house and played saxophone for me – something old and something new …

“Then there was the beautiful birthday cake that my daughters bought and the minister from Allen Temple AME Church [the Reverend Howard Dill] who came and gave me a blessing — it was very nice. The Lord blessed me with a beautiful family.

“I really had the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, also paid a visit to Ms Vickers the day before her birthday, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, paid a visit to Elmina Leona Marie Vickers (Photograph supplied)

Ms Vickers was born on August 16, 1923 and was raised in Somerset. She was married to Stanley Vickers, a mason who passed away in 2005. She had two daughters and three sons, and one of the sons passed away some years ago.

Ms Vickers started out working for English families at the base in Dockyard before moving into catering. At first she was a chef at Buckaroo in the Hamilton and then at Charlie’s Drive-In in Southampton.

Ms Vickers said one of the secrets to a long life was to work hard.

She added: “Hard work never killed anyone. My husband was a mason and people used to say I was the labourer because I would be mixing the mortar to build our house.

Gombey Dancers performed for Elmina Leona Marie Vickers, including great grandson Diyaari Saltus (Photograph supplied)

“You don’t have to pay so much if you do the work yourself. I helped to build the house we live in now, and it worked out fine. Hard work kept me fine and fit.”

It was also important to Ms Vickers to enjoy herself, and Christmas was one of her favourite times of the year. She, too, would go “all out”, setting the table with China sets, getting the family together for a beautiful meal and making sure everyone had a gift to open.

The Gombeys performed for Elmina Leona Marie Vickers on her 100th birthday (Photograph supplied)

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Published August 19, 2023 at 7:27 am (Updated August 19, 2023 at 7:05 am)

A 100th birthday with family, music, guests and Gombeys

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